Dressing 101: I Can Do It!

Dressing is hard for children who struggle with tactile defensiveness. Kids with sensory issues related to ADHD, SPD or Autistic Spectrum disorders can have an especially hard time with clothing, regardless of the time of day. This can be a distressing start to anyone’s morning.

Learning to select clothes independently and successfully is an important life skill. You can help facilitate this daily teachable moment by using any of the following tips and techniques.

1. Allow extra time in the morning to get used to how things feel.

2. Pick out clothes the night before. Try them on, if necessary, to see how they feel.

3. Look for clothes that are soft, loose, and tagless.

4. Try using seamless socks to help deal with closed toed shoes. They don’t irritate.

5. If you child bathes in the morning, try toweling them off with a rough towel to help in desensitization.

6. Accept the fact that tactile defensiveness is real and truly distressing to your child.

7. Help t hem take little steps towards accepting new clothes.

8. Be their cheerleader! Remind them that they can do it!

9. Some kids like Under Armour which creates a smooth, compressed layer under clothes. The pressure can actually be calming for your child.

10. The biggest tip from our family is to allow your child to remove offensive clothing when they get home! They have endured torture all day.